It was July 8 when Kerry Messer woke in the early morning hours only to discover his wife, Lynn Messer, was not in bed with him.
He got up and looked around the house for her, unable to locate her. He then went on to search the common areas around their 250-acre farm where she would normally be found.
When Kerry still couldn’t locate her he became increasingly concerned and called 911 to have the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department come out to help assist. As the hours passed from when he first woke up his property soon turned into a command post.
St. Louis Regional Command Post, Eureka Search and Rescue, along with K-9 teams, local fire departments and volunteers were all on scene searching in full force for his wife.
As days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into two months, the search parties eventually dwindled down and less folks were going out to volunteer their time.
Kerry, on the other hand, said he still has hope in finding his wife and still is able to gather enough people to do searches each weekend. They have searched more than 5,000 acres so far.
Posters about Lynn are seen in storefronts all over Ste. Genevieve, surrounding counties and beyond. A Facebook page “Find Lynn Messer” had been set up and has over 6,400 likes on it. Kerry posts his thoughts, feelings and pleas for the world to read.
In fact Kerry, a lobbyist for family values in Jefferson City, shared some words of thanks on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives on Wednesday during the start of a special veto session for legislators.
Back at home, the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department has worked endless hours on the case in hopes of finding an answer as to where Lynn could have disappeared to. Sheriff Gary Stolzer said they are still actively searching tips as they come in.
“There have been no changes in the case,” said Stolzer earlier in the week. “We have gone on a few tips from the computers but I don’t think there will be anything earth-shattering with it.”
Kerry has said the sheriff’s department has gone above and beyond in their duty in this case. He is very happy with what they are doing and has heard other stories from people in similar situations who have not had the support like he has from their local sheriff’s department.
“It has been wonderful working with them and they always answer my calls and questions when I have them,” said Kerry. “Sheriff Gary Stolzer and his staff have been very gracious, I would be amiss if I didn’t mention repeatedly what a value they have been to us.”
Kerry said with hunting season coming up so quickly it will be harder to go out and search and there are safety issues as well. A group of people walking through where someone’s set up in a tree or deer blind could cause a conflict, so as fall and hunting season approaches there will be land owners who have no relationship with or no background with the case and may not want strangers wandering through their land. They don’t want to put anyone in an awkward position.
“We want to ask hunters if they would be our searchers and keep their eyes out for anything unusual,” said Kerry. “I know there is a lot of junk in the woods and we aren’t talking about a beer can from the 70s. If there is a shoe or a pair of glasses that were obviously dropped this summer that would be an extremely important thing for us and law enforcement to know about. We would like to ask the hunters to keep an eye out for things and if they see something that they really think could be of value to us, don’t touch it or move it, take a picture of it on your cell phone and contact the Ste. Genevieve (County) Sheriff’s Department.”
Kerry also said Lynn’s mother has graciously put the finishing touches on a couple of quilts that Lynn had started to give to a couple new mothers. Also there is a large quilt that Lynn and her mother had worked on for a pro-life event that they planned on donating to them to help raise money for their cause.
Kerry spoke in advance of Wednesday's appearance in Jefferson City. “They are allowing me to come and address the assembly with our thanks for their support these last couple months and their prayers,” said Kerry. “They are giving me the opportunity to open the legislative session with a prayer which is something a registered lobbyist is never allowed to do. "They had to rearrange the schedule so they are not technically in session while I am in the chamber because it’s a statutory crime for a registered lobbyist to be in the chamber while they are in session. Having that kind of support and encouragement from representatives from all corners of the state is very encouraging.”